First Church Somerville UCC
First Church Somerville UCC

Music

Welcome to the FCS music page!

Music plays many important roles in our community. In our worship services, it helps us create ritual space where we can thin the walls between our souls and catch fleeting glimpses of our underlying unity. Music is a spiritual, mystical language—through the notes themselves and the melodies, we can discuss and explore ideas that human language can’t touch.

And, of course, it’s fun!  Music participation is an amazing community builder. The immediacy and “in the moment" nature of making music together is a perfect salve for our minds after being battered by our fast-paced, multi-tasking, digital culture. 

There are many ways in which you are welcome to participate!  Here are a few: 

Choir - Seasonal Cantatas - Children's Choir - Marching Band - House Band - Musical Liturgist 

Choir

 In most 10 am Sunday worship services, the choir sings one or more prepared pieces and sometimes leads the hymns. We rehearse that same day before the service, at 9 am in the sanctuary, and child care is provided. We sing music of many genres: favorite hymns, Gospel, meditative chants, old pieces from the Renaissance, contemporary pieces, and even secular popular pieces that fit the message of the service.

At First Church, our choir is open to anyone, and we mean ANYONE. Singing is a learnable skill (which modern technology and marketing encourages us to forget); if you have a desire to participate in choir, we will gladly help you and promise you will be successful in that, no matter your background or current skill level!  And remember, if you love the sound of the choir, the best place to hear the choir is IN the choir!

If you would like to be added to the regular choir e-mail list, where we announce each week whether and what we will be singing, please email music@firstchurchsomerville.org.

 2015 DGF choir w Greg

Seasonal Cantatas

A few times throughout the year we put on a worship service full of music that we call a cantata, with a big group of musicians and weeks of rehearsals in preparation beforehand so we can truly create something great. This is a fantastic opportunity for those folks interested in being part of a big, one-time event. Who knows, maybe you'll enjoy it so much that you'll want to sing with us every week!

Keep an eye out for announcements about cantatas on the church and/or choir email lists. These are typically done in October (for Drag Gospel Worship), December (Advent Cantata) and spring (Palm Sunday Cantata). Or to let us know you're interested in the next one, please email music@firstchurchsomerville.org.

 choir singing during Advent cantata

Children's Choir

Children’s choir is open to all children ages 4 and up. We meet weekly during coffee hour for 20-30 minutes and sing every month or two during the school year, usually on All Ages Sundays. We have lots of fun during rehearsals, where we spend plenty of time singing fun and silly songs, learn about making music in a group, and reflect on the deeper meanings of the songs we sing.

Like all things First Church, the children’s choir strives to be welcoming and accessible—children should feel free to come as often as they can, and anyone can join at any time in the school year. Links to music are provided so kids can practice at home and not feel left behind if they miss a few weeks. Caregivers (and older youth who want to help) are always welcome during rehearsals.

Email Chelsea Andrews (cjandrews08@gmail.com) if you have any questions, would like more information, or would like to be added to the children’s choir email list for updates. 

Marching Band

Do you play a band instrument? Can you walk while playing it? We have a marching band that is open to instrumentalists of all types and abilities and has an amazing time marching in a variety of Boston/Somerville parades like Honk! Festival and the Pride parade.  If you are interested, please email music@firstchurchsomerville.org and we'll be in touch on our next event, practices, etc.

 marching band posing at Boston Pride

House Band

With the many different styles of music that we enjoy, we have multiple ensembles to accompany our congregation and choir. If it's Bach, you need organ, sure, but if it's anything from the African diaspora (blues, jazz, gospel, salsa, samba, rock, hip-hop et al.), you almost always need drums! Bass, guitar, and keyboards are awesome too (with horn players!). Our house band is a loose conglomeration of skilled amateurs that plays once or twice a month in the service and has a big part to play in many events like Drag Gospel and Somerville's Porchfest.

 Gianna playing fiddle at 2018 Easter worship

Musical Liturgist

Much like we have a different person serving as liturgist in worship each week sharing their personal stories, we also offer the opportunity for individuals and groups to share their musical talents during the worship service.  This can come in many forms—here are some examples we've had so far:

- Singing or playing a solo with Greg accompanying

- Singing and playing a song on guitar unaccompanied

- A small ensemble of guitars, fiddles, and banjos playing throughout the service

- A singing quartet for offertory

- Folk musicians performing music they wrote themselves!

Maybe you have a musical piece in mind already, or maybe you are looking for suggestions, or a little bit of each!

Maybe you know exactly how you want to perform, or maybe you would like help figuring it out, or a little bit of each!

Maybe you've got it covered on your own, or maybe you are looking for some accompaniment, or a little bit of each!

Maybe you've want to do one piece, or maybe you'd like to cover the whole gamut of prelude/hymns/anthem/offertory/postlude, or something in between! 

Whatever your interests, if you would like to share your gifts as a musical liturgist on some future Sunday, please email music@firstchurchsomerville.org and our music director Greg will be in contact with you about options for scheduling, preparation, accompaniment, etc.

Haruka playing the oboe during 2018 Easter worship